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VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | prevet resources veterinary student resources veterinarian resources | Nonprofit free veterinary resources | Blog | Veterinary Pulse Podcast Episode 161 | Dr. Tony Bartels and Dr. Rebecca Mears on the top three trends from the trenches of student loans

Drs. Tony Bartels and Rebecca Mears on the top three trends from the trenches of student loans

Listen in as student debt experts and Board Member Drs. Tony Bartels and Rebecca Mears in this next installment of our Student Debt Series. This episode we’re covering the top three trends from the trenches of student loans: 1) Consolidation procrastination 2) Using the wrong repayment plan 3) Incorrect minimum monthly payments. Now is the time to pay attention if you’ve had your head in the sand with your student loans, so listen in and also learn if you are in The Pickle!

As always, we want to hear from YOU. Please share your thoughts by sending an email or joining the conversation.


Dr. Tony Bartels
Tony Bartels, DVM, MBA graduated in 2012 from the Colorado State University combined MBA/DVM program and is a VIN Foundation Board Member and Student Debt Expert, and an employee of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). He and his wife, a small-animal internal medicine specialist practicing in Denver, have more than $400,000 in veterinary-school debt that they manage using federal income-driven repayment plans. By necessity (and now obsession), his professional activities include researching and speaking on veterinary-student debt, providing guidance to colleagues on loan-repayment strategies and contributing to VIN Foundation resources. Beyond debt, his professional interests include small- and exotic-animal practice. When he’s not staring holes into his colleagues’ student-loan data, Tony enjoys fly fishing, ice hockey, camping and exploring Colorado with his wife, Audra, daughter, Lucy, and their two rescued canines, Addi and Maggie.

Dr. Rebecca Mears

Rebecca Mears, DVM is from Lexington, KY, where she completed her BS at University of Kentucky. She is a graduate of University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. While in vet school, she served as the National Business Certificate Director for the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) and as a board member for Vets for Pets and People. During this time she took an active role in wellbeing awareness and access within the veterinary community. Rebecca then worked as an equine general practitioner and is an active AAEP member. In her time away from veterinary medicine, she can be found hiking, baking, and hosting impromptu dance parties. She is passionate about giving back to the profession and improving the lives of veterinarians, pre-vet and vet students.


VIN Foundation Student Debt Center:

Check your current student loan servicers and other loan details — VIN Foundation My Student Loans tool:

Loan Repayment Simulator:

VIN Foundation WikiDebt:

VIN Foundation Webinars:

VIN Foundation get updates:

VIN Foundation GIVE page to support these programs & tools:

VIN Foundation Blog, Related Student Debt Blog posts:

Personalized student loan Help from VIN and VIN Foundation:


One-Time Forgiveness Count Adjustment Video Case Study, 1999 DVM may save more than $65,000 in student loan costs:

Income-Driven Repayment Plan Discretionary income calculations, WikiDebt:

Repay Wiser:

Borrow Better:

New Grad Student Loan Repayment Playbook:

Federal Student Aid Data, Consolidation, and Repayment Applications:

SAVE Repayment Plan Offers Lower Monthly Loan Payments

New Proposed Regulations Would Transform Income-Driven Repayment by Cutting Undergraduate Loan Payments in Half and Preventing Unpaid Interest Accumulation:

Payment Count Adjustments Toward Income-Driven Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programs:

Department of Education press release (Nov 2022):

Department of Education press release (April 2022):

One-time Forgiveness Count Adjustment

Federal Student Loan Servicers:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF):

Stay up to date with VIN Foundation updates:

Email VIN Foundation:

Get updates to stay tuned for the VIN Foundation webinars on student debt.

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